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In my second book, based on Space Gladiators, portal technology is a staple in their universe. I need a logical explanation about how portals work. Is it based on quantum physics, dark matter, wormholes, or what? What would be the most logical way to describe the mechanics of a portal?

Assume that they have highly advanced technology beyond the level of just portals. They can create whatever is thought to be logical.

I realize that we technically already have teleportation, but it isn't actually 'instantaneous' per se. And it only transports minute amounts of matter currently in 2017. I don't want that, I want "faster than a Planck interval" teleportation. How does the portal work? And more importantly, is it realistic? Is INSTANT transportation from place to place truly possible given our physical limitations?

Any clarification that is needed will be provided when asked.

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  • $\begingroup$ Do you want teleportation from a "portal" at either side or only needing one and arriving at the other side were there is no second portal? In the case of the second, albecurrie drive might work. Here is a link. en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcubierre_drive $\endgroup$ – Cameron Leary Mar 3 '17 at 15:25
  • $\begingroup$ The portal only has to take you to one place, if you can explain how a two way portal would work, that would be nice. $\endgroup$ – Nate Dukes Mar 3 '17 at 16:41
  • $\begingroup$ Nothing can be as fast as Planck time, as far as we know it. $\endgroup$ – Mołot Mar 4 '17 at 10:16
  • $\begingroup$ I understand you want your super-scifi tech but also wanting a story that follows current known physics. This requirement, however, for the action being performed in less than planck time means you can't ask for much realism, there will always be oodles of handwavium in any answer. Wormholes (as are being proposed in answers) won't be able to move things quicker than Planck time either. I recommend altering your question a little to make an answer that complies with it more attainable. $\endgroup$ – Lio Elbammalf Mar 6 '17 at 11:21
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According to Albert Einsteins theories, it is not possible, to travel faster than light. Even if you take a long pole at one end and push something with the other end, the impulse of your pushing needs a moment to arrive at the other end of the pole. So faster than light (FTL) traveling is not possible in our known 3 dimensions.

What you can do, is to add a dimension, to go around the normal 3 dimensions and only seemingly travel faster than light. This can either be accomplished by some (limited) time travel (using time as a fourth dimension in which some control is possible) or by adding a completely new 4th dimension, in which you can bend the known 3 dimensions, "folding" space. A common way to explain this, is to imagine a piece of paper as 2-dimensional plane and fold it in the 3rd dimension, so that two places of the paper touch, allowing something on the paper to jump to another place on the paper without traveling the (paper-)distance between those 2 places.

If you only need portals on specific locations, you can argue, that the visible universe already is bend in one (or more) additional dimensions, allowing portals at these specific locations. Portal builders would have to measure where portals can be build and where not.

If you want dynamic portals which can be build at will at any location, this would require either a lot of energy to "bend" space or a nearly endless amount of additional dimensions, so that the portal technology just would have to pick the right set of dimensions in which the desired locations happen to be close to each other.

For some more science around this problems, you can look up the Alcubierre Drive (basically the warp drive known from the Star Trek universe)

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Quantum physics does not enable FTL communication or transportation. So don’t use that. Dark matter? What does that have to do with it?

What you describe pretty much matches what we expect of wormholes. Changing the topology of spacetime will give you portals as you describe.

As for how the tech works: we need more about your story. Do the people dial in the coordinates they want and jump there? Or are there permanent doors set up? Are they created on the fly or via an expensive process?

I recall a story where portals — as pairs of linked windows — was naturally evolved and used by native flora and fauna of the planet! It was a ubiquitous natural resource, and the story explained the resulting society that had access to that, from the point of view of outsiders who were stranded there. There was no explaination as to how they could function, physically.

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  • $\begingroup$ Interesting video related to Portal that describes how the portal gun uses wormholes: youtube.com/watch?v=JzRvmNaPxdA&t=82s (to your question "what does that have to do with it?" regarding dark matter) $\endgroup$ – Nate Dukes Mar 5 '17 at 11:25
  • $\begingroup$ People have a multitude of different options for teleportation; I only need one specific example of how the tech works, and I could likely branch off of that. $\endgroup$ – Nate Dukes Mar 5 '17 at 11:40
  • $\begingroup$ @NateDukes and Sauraen’s comment on the video saying how baaad the “science” is. That's not the kind of explaination you are asking for here. $\endgroup$ – JDługosz Mar 5 '17 at 18:24
  • $\begingroup$ @NateDukes That video has many factual errors, beyond the general issue of entanglement not working that way. And at no point does it mention dark matter. $\endgroup$ – JDługosz Mar 5 '17 at 18:33
  • $\begingroup$ For a treatment of “how the tech works” see my third paragraph for what’s needed from you first. $\endgroup$ – JDługosz Mar 5 '17 at 18:35
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Yes it's entirely possible, it's called an Einstein-Rosen Bridge, or a wormhole, such a construct links two points while skipping the space in between, that's the theory anyway. In theory you can make such a bridge artificially and hold on to one or both ends of it to make it permanent.

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